News·4 min read

Daily Skimm: Brazil, Speaker of the House, and Jen Shah

Supporters of former President Jair Bolsonaro clash with security forces as they raid the National Congress in Brasilia
January 9, 2023


The Story

Brazil just experienced political upheaval.


Yesterday, thousands of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's supporters stormed the country’s Congress, Supreme Court, and the presidential palace. They smashed windows and security cameras and clashed with police — who responded with tear gas. They had access to the buildings for hours before security forces regained control. There have been no reported deaths or injuries. But about 300 people have been arrested.

Why did this happen?

Many Bolsonaro supporters refuse to accept the results of last year’s election, which brought former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (aka Lula) back to power with less than 2% of the vote. Bolsonaro has, without evidence, blamed fraud for his loss and has refused to publicly concede. Now, Lula — who was sworn in last week — is saying Bolsonaro’s history of undermining the election “triggered” yesterday’s attack. Bolsonaro — who’s been believed to be staying in Florida since he lost the election — has condemned the violence but denied Lula’s accusations against him.

What happens now?

Lula says that what happened yesterday has “no precedent in the history of the country” and promised to hold rioters accountable. He also reportedly blamed police for “incompetence or bad faith” — implying some remained loyal to Bolsonaro. The attack comes after last month’s bomb scare and police HQ attacks. Now, Western leaders like President Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron are standing behind Lula. Meanwhile, some Democrats have called on US authorities to extradite Bolsonaro to Brazil as he faces investigations for corruption and other accusations.


It’s been a little over two years to the day since Americans witnessed the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol. Now, many are seeing echoes of it in other countries. Misinformation and claims without evidence are still proving to be dangerous.

And Also...This

Where the show’s still not over…

The House. Over the weekend, after 15 rounds of votes (the most since 1859), House GOP members finally elected Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as House speaker. After a quick swearing-in that included controversial lawmaker Rep. George Santos (R-NY), the House got the ball rolling. But the hurdles have just begun. Today, House lawmakers will be voting on the rules package, essentially guidelines for how the House operates. It’s full of concessions that McCarthy had to make to get support from a bloc of GOP hardliners. The package includes changes like allowing any lawmaker to call for a speaker’s removal at any time, federal spending cuts, and adding a 72-hour window for members to read bills before voting. Oh and don’t forget a commitment to vote on term limits for lawmakers.  

  • Now we wait: House Democrats are expected to stand united against the package. But Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-TX) has already said he'd vote against it. And another Republican lawmaker is on the fence. So this could be the beginning of yet another statement.

Where things are unfolding…

Iran. Over the weekend, Mohammad Mehdi Karami and Seyed Mohammad Hosseini were reportedly executed for allegedly killing a paramilitary force member during anti-regime protests. Sparked by Mahsa Amini’s death in September, Iranians — and their supporters around the world — have taken to the streets calling for a change in leadership and laws. The protests have left at least 300 dead. And of the more than 18,000 arrested, many face charges that carry the death sentence. The State Department has condemned Iran’s “brutal crackdown” and is continuing to “pursue accountability.” But in the meantime, at least nine others could face the same fate.

Who’s got “The Firm” all red hot and bothered… 

Prince Harry. Yesterday, the royal’s interviews with ITV and “60 Minutes” aired. And with them, Harry aired a lot of dirty laundry, including confirmation that Harry called Prince William’s baldness “alarming.” And allegations that Camilla fed stories to the press about Harry in exchange for positive PR. All of that is in addition to the other bombshells we’ve learned about so Harry’s circumcision status and a physical altercation between the brothers. The memoir, “Spare,” comes out tomorrow.

Who’s cheering on his team…

Damar Hamlin. This weekend, the Buffalo Bills safety made his first public comments since going into cardiac arrest during a game. He tweeted that “when you put real love out into the world it comes back to you 3x's as much.” Hamlin’s still in the hospital recovering, but that didn’t stop him from cheering on his teammates as they faced the New England Pats yesterday — beating them 35-23. 

Who many are wishing a speedy recovery to...

Abby Zwerner. On Friday, the teacher was critically wounded after a six-year-old student shot her in a Virginia classroom. The student is in custody while officials investigate what they say “was not an accidental shooting.”

Who’s not doing so Shah-mazing…

Jen Shah.

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